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A $1 million government contest to predict health problems with artificial intelligence attracted the heavyweights of industry and beyond — from Mayo Clinic, to IBM, to the data and consulting powerhouse Deloitte.

But the winner of Medicare’s AI health outcomes challenge is a lesser-known startup from Austin, Texas, called ClosedLoop.ai. The company, whose victory was announced late Friday, bested 300 rivals with a system capable of forecasting adverse health events by crunching an array of data on patients.

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The system not only predicts outcomes such as infections and unplanned hospital stays, but embeds its warnings in electronic health records and suggests interventions that doctors can take to prevent them from occurring. ClosedLoop’s product envisions a future in which AI saves gobs of money — and untold anguish — by helping doctors keep patients healthy, instead of reacting only when they get sick. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said it hopes to incorporate solutions from the contest into new health care delivery models to be tested by its innovation center.

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